One of my favorite coffee shops recently demonstrated that a business’ approach to a problem – not the problem itself – is what creates long-lasting impressions.
My husband and I usually go to Peet’s Coffee every morning. We drove up to the one on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica the other day and there was a temporary kiosk outside – a counter with catering-sized pots of coffee and all the accoutrements. The young man staffing the counter told us that the store was closed because it was flooded. They were hoping to open the next day, but right now they were giving away free cups of coffee.
The store managers and employees had a couple of options when they found the flood. They could have put a sign on the door saying they were closed for the day. Customers would have found their morning cup of coffee around the corner. Instead, they worked hard to come up with a solution that – even if it didn’t entirely satisfy those who need a morning cappuccino – demonstrated a great attitude along with concern for our needs. (I don’t drink cappuccino, so I was completely satisfied with my free coffee.)
That’s marketing: Figure out what you have to do to serve your customers, even in difficult times. Peet’s didn’t make any money that morning, but they didn’t make excuses, either. And they undoubtedly retained customers.
I’m proof. Peet’s is still my favorite coffee shop.